1) What does Powell mean by “the earthly Jesus?” What does Powell mean by the “historical Jesus” and the “exalted Jesus?”
2)How is a Gospel different from a biography? What is the purpose of an ancient biography, and how do these differ from contemporary biographies?
3) What are two specific things you learned about Jesus that you did not know before?
4) How does Luke analyze and present social class, poverty, and riches in his Gospel? How is Luke’s view of poverty and riches similar or different from your own contemporary view of class and money? How might Luke look at our society today compared with his idealized view of class and financial status? Specifically, who are the poor, marginalized, or disadvantaged in Luke’s Gospel?
5) Powell opens the chapter on John with a few quotes from important readers of this Gospel living in the second to the sixteenth centuries. Many of them refer to John as a “spiritual” Gospel. What does this mean? What evidence for a spiritual understanding of Jesus and community do you see in the Gospel itself? Are there also passages that portray a “material” portrait of Jesus or material concerns of the author and first-century community (e.g., dealing with concrete, physical, and bodily realities)? How might these two aspects of the Gospel fit together in early Christian understanding of Jesus?
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